a photo by Andrew Irvin.
Yesterday and today we've been out branding. Most of the cowboys and cowgirls have been up since 4 o'clock this morning and won't come in for supper until around 5. Long days, but a great way to gather the community together and spend the day outside. Thanks to everyone who made the trip out to help!
Steve on the gate. Braden and Bryan waiting for their shot roping. Roping calves. George catching some shut eye after a long morning.
Bresaola: Air dried and cured beef
This item can be made at home without sodium nitrate and nitrite by using celery powder or beet powder because they contain a high level of naturally occurring nitrates/nitrites.
1lb beef roast or tenderloin
1 cup kosher salt or 1 1/2 cups iodine free table salt
1/2 cup white or raw sugar
1 T dried thyme
1 T dried rosemary minced or ground
2 T ground black pepper
2 T ground Juniper Berries
1 T fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sodium nitrate
1/4 tsp sodium nitrite
(or 1 T Morton’s Tender Quick)
Butcher’s twine or cheese cloth
Tall plastic container wide enough to hold roast(s)
Mix salt and sugar with nitrate and nitrite and the dried herbs.
Mix 2 Tbs salt mixture with black pepper, juniper and nutmeg store in airtight container.
Trim the beef roast removing as much silver-skin and fat as possible.
Lay 1/3 salt mixture in plastic container add beef roast and cover with salt and herbs.
Let stand 3 days in refrigerator turning the roasts once a day and keeping a layer of salt on top. Drain any liquid as it collects.
On the third day remove the meat and give it a rinse in cold running water.
Dry with tea towel or paper towel and let stand 1 hour in the fridge or 20 minutes on the counter.
Tie roast with a continuous loop tie. (Make a knot around one end of the roast leaving some string dangling. Let a bit of string out and twist twice into a large loop, slip over the end of the roast and down into a position about an inch away from the previous loop. Continue all the way down the roast making sure the loops are taut. Tuck the string under each loop along the back and tie to the original knot.)
Roll roast in salt and juniper mixture and coat thoroughly.
Hang roast in the warmest spot of refrigerator either from a colander or the refrigerator rack with a pan to catch the drippings.
Allow to hang for 3-4 weeks or until firm. The outside should be a dark burgundy/black and the inside a burgundy color. Sodium nitrate/nitrites improve this color.
If using cheese cloth, roll roast in juniper mixture and wrap twice in cheesecloth as tight as possible. Knot one end and allow to hang in the refrigerator with the knot end down.
Photo found on Matt's lovely food blog Wrightfood. (http://mattikaarts.com/blog/)
Sous Vide is a method of poaching cuts in a vacuum.
It requires a few pieces of equipment but can be mimicked at home by placing your meat in either a vacuum sealed bag or a zipper bag with the air removed. You always want to have a healthy amount of rendered fat, butter or oil in the bag for sous vied or the meat will become dry.
With the bag secured and filled place a large pot (4-8 gallons) 1/4 full of simmering water in the sink and allow the hot water to drip quickly into the pot. Place your bags in the warm water (120-160ºF) and allow the hot water to drip over them. After a few hours the meat will be around 100ºF internal and should stay around that temperature for an hour or two before searing them in a skillet or under a broiler.
Combine aromatics and vegetables with wet ingredients and allow to simmer into a thick “glace” or glaze. Make sure to season the sauce AFTER you reduce it to a glace.